Taliban trainer of suicide bombers still alive

Last Updated 17 October 2010, 11:41 IST

Qari was believed to have been killed in the attack. But reports from the restive South Waziristan, bordering the Afghan border, suggest he is still alive.
There have been rumours of his death thrice since 2008 but the man has resurfaced every time.

Qari is the Taliban chief Hakeemullah Mehsud's second-in-command and both are distant cousins as well. He follows slain TTP chief Baitullah Mehsud's ideology of using hardline Islam, reported the Express Tribune Sunday.

“In some ways, Qari appears to be much ahead of Baitullah with his infamous expertise of indoctrination and training of suicide bombers, a weapon no satellite can detect and no safety wall can stop”, the daily said.

“His treatment of war prisoners is another brutality he is famous for. Not only has he beheaded them in the past but he has added new dimensions to the cruelty by cutting the throats of children as well,” it said. 

Qari comes from Ishangai clan of Ballizai, a sub-tribe of Mehsud tribe and the largest Pakhtun tribe in Pakistan.  Mehsud tribe is divided into three major sub-tribes - Ballizai, Shaman Khel and Manzai, which was Baitullah's tribe. Tribesmen belonging to Ishangai are known for having different habitats for summer and winter.

Possibly, this contributed in making him a very active and mobile individual.
“He travels like light,” an intelligence official in Peshawar said, describing Qari's movement.

Qari took his initial training in the early 1990s in camps inside the southern district of Afghanistan. Then he became associated with the banned  Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.
“His ascendency within Taliban ranks began when Mullah Dadullah, a feared Afghan commander of Taliban, took him under his wings,” the report said. Dadullah, killed in 2007, trained suicide bombers in Afghanistan.

Dadullah asked Baitullah to declare Qari as his successor, which Baitullah did out of respect for Dadullah. But the situation changed later.

They had a fallout in June 2007 when Qari launched a series of attacks on police in the tribal areas. The situation against changed once the Taliban went on the offensive against the Pakistani military.

(Published 17 October 2010, 11:41 IST)

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